Remember when we all started our blogs (those of you who have them) we accumulated these enormous long lists of blogs we liked? Did you check them out regularly? Me neither. Occasionally I would dip into them but these days I’m far more likely to look at a post someone has mentioned on Twitter.
The length of the list was, of course, because we hoped people would link back to us and that would improve our Google ranking. Now I know nothing about SEO but my website has consistently ranked top of searches for matching food and wine despite the fact I’ve almost totally ignored incoming links. (Presumably because it does what it says on the tin. It’s a site about - ta taaaa - food and wine matching.)
Then there is the question of friendships and loyalties, anxieties about who might be put out if you don’t include them. That’s understandable but it’s not a good reason for adding someone to your blogroll.
The only instance where I think it works is if your blog is dedicated to a specialist subject and you can pretty well cover all the interesting sites without forcing someone to scroll endlessly down the page. I do that on my cheese blog but even then I must confess weeks go by and I don’t check my own links.
So for Food and Wine Finds I’ve come up with a new strategy which is to select 4 or 5 blogs each month. I’ll also write a few lines about each which I hope will whet your appetite. Maybe you emarketeers will tell me that this is a lousy idea and I could build my traffic much more effectively by soliciting strategic blog links. But you know what? I don’t care.
Here’s December’s list.
The Pioneer Woman
The pioneer woman aka Ree Drummond seems to be some kind of superwoman. She abandoned a promising career in LA and went off with a cowboy. She has reinvented herself as a modern Fannie Farmer guiding the nation through her recipes step by beautifully photographed step. She even homeschools her kids. Every blogger will gnash their teeth with envy at her 13 million page views each month. Cult reading.
Pete Brown’s Beer Blog
OK. Let me declare an interest here. I know Pete (a former adman) and he’s a good bloke. But more important than that he’s a cracking writer - so good that it matters not a jot that he seldom posts any pictures. He also has robustly articulated views. Read this perfect send-up of a Daily Mail article.
I know how hard it is to keep up a blog let alone make it consistently varied and interesting so hats off to Helen Graves for regularly posting such sharply written content. from the intricacies of Sichuan cooking (her current obsession) to musings on the cultural significance of her local café.
The British Larder
This is the kind of blog I would create if I had the talent and time. It’s run and stunningly photographed by a former chef called Madalene Bonvini who writes with endearing seriousness about her art. Sheer class.
More food porn. Exquisite desserts from a young french pastry chef, Helen Dujardin (her real name? too good to be true) living in Charleston, South Carolina. Her recently published pumpkin semi-freddo with a side of gingerbread houses is as fairytale a creation as anyone could wish for in the run up to Christmas. Grapefruit and pomegranate in white tea jelly is even prettier.
So that’s your lot this month - more in January.
Do you read other people's blogrolls - or even your own?